The Harlem Renaissance was a pivotal time for black artists and musicians.(Yahoo/Thinkstock)


During February, the United States and Canada celebrate Black History Month. Officially adopted in 1976, this month of observance is a time to pay tribute to the contributions made by African-Americans, reflect on past struggles, and encourage equality today and into the future.

For Americans, black history is everyone’s history — we all have something to learn by looking back and moving forward.

Here are seven meaningful trips to help you celebrate Black History Month.

National Civil Rights Museum — Memphis

The site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. (Yahoo/Thinkstock)

Walking into the National Civil Rights Museum is like taking a time machine back to the 1960s. With every step, every exhibit, you are transported to a time when the fight for equality was literally life or death. The museum is centered around the actual Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in 1968. It also includes the boarding house from which his assassin, James Earl Ray, fired the shot. Visitors can explore exhibits on slavery in America, the sit-in movement, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and more.

Harlem, New York City

The Harlem Renaissance was a pivotal time for black artists and musicians.(Yahoo/Thinkstock)

During the 1920s and ’30s, Harlem became a cultural meeting place for black artists, writers, musicians, and photographers. The movement was called the Harlem Renaissance, and today there are many historical remnants from that time. You can stroll by the home of Langston Hughes, or visit the New York Amsterdam News — a Black newspaper popular during that era. If you want to listen to jazz, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk all played at Minton’s Playhouse on 118th Street.

While you’re in Harlem, there are many locations to celebrate Black History Month. The Studio Museum displays works created by black artists, the famous Apollo theater puts on weekly shows for amateur performers, and Sylvia’s still serves up some of the best soul food in town.

If you take the 2/3 train to 116th Street or 125th Street, be sure to check out the mosaics on the walls created by Faith Ringgold, which depict influential African-Americans throughout history.

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Freddie Allen is the National News Editor for the NNPA News Wire and 200-plus Black newspapers. 20 million readers. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.

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